How is BMI calculated for women?

The BMI, or Body Mass Index, is a figure that allows us to assess whether our weight is considered healthy in relation to our height. It is calculated by dividing our weight in kilograms by the square of our height in meters. We then use categories to interpret BMI: underweight (thin), normal (healthy weight), overweight and obese. It’s a simple way of getting a general idea of our body composition, without being too precise.

Calculate your BMI

BMI results for women and interpretation

Here is a small table showing the different BMI levels:

AgeUnderweightNormal weightOverweightObesityMorbid obesity
18-24 years≤1919-2424-2929-39>39
25-34 years≤2020-2525-3030-40>40
35-44 years≤2121-2626-3131-41>41
45-54 years≤2222-2727-3232-42>42
55-64 years≤2323-2828-3333-43>43
65+ years≤3424-2929-3434-44>44
  • Underweight: this is when a person’s weight is below normal for their height and physical constitution, known as “underweight”;
  • Normal weight: this is the weight considered balanced and healthy for a person, corresponding to a normal body mass index (BMI);
  • Overweight: when weight exceeds the normal range for height and physical build, indicating excess weight and entailing health risks;
  • Obesity: this is a condition where a person has a significant excess of body fat, leading to a higher-than-normal weight and health problems;
  • Morbid obesity: this most advanced stage of obesity presents major health risks. As its name suggests, it is associated with serious, life-threatening complications.

BMI below normal

Le cas de l’IMC inférieur à la normale

Underweight occurs when someone weighs less than what is considered normal for their height and physical build. This can be due to a variety of factors, such as a rapid metabolism, underlying health problems, eating disorders or digestive problems. A body mass index (BMI) of less than 18.5 is generally considered a sign of underweight. The consequences of being underweight can include a weakened immune system, excessive fatigue, muscle weakness, skin problems, hormonal imbalances and menstrual cycle disturbances in girls and women.

BMI above normal

Overweight is when someone weighs more than is considered normal for their height and physical build. This means that the person is above the recommended weight for their height. A BMI over 25 is generally considered a sign of overweight.

There are various reasons why a person may be overweight:

  • caloric intake imbalance: the quantity of calories consumed,
    energy expenditure: the amount of calories burned by physical activity and basal metabolic rate,
  • genetic predisposition,
  • poor eating habits,
  • sedentary lifestyle,
  • hormonal disorders or certain medications.

Being overweight can have serious health consequences. It increases the risk of developing various diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, certain cancers and joint problems.

Le cas de l’IMC supérieur à la normale

Calculating BMI for women

In fact, the formula is the same for men and women, so the BMI calculated for a man is the same as for a woman. We simply take our weight and divide it by the square of our height. Regardless of gender, the same rule applies.

For women, reaching menopause can influence our BMI. That’s because hormones are on a rollercoaster at that point. It’s as if our bodies start dancing to the rhythm of life! Menopause can also lead to the appearance or increase in visceral fat. The kind that hides in our bellies and can lead to cardiovascular health problems.

Warning : BMI is an approximate indicator, and a more precise analysis is required to know and distinguish between body mass and muscle mass, which are therefore confused in overall body weight.
For example, an athlete may have a BMI classified as “obese”, whereas weight is essentially counted in muscle!